Encyclopedia Astronautica
Mars Pathfinder



marspf.jpg
Mars Sojourner
Credit: NASA
American Mars rover. 3 launches, 1996.12.04 (Mars Pathfinder) to (Mars Pathfinder). Mars lander with surface rover. Landed a mini-rover to the Mars surface. Test of airbag and rover technologies. First successful Mars landing mission since Viking.

First Launch: 1996.12.04.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new 'existing' technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with 'more rationale' alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced. More...
  • Delta 2 7000 American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta 7000 series used GEM-40 strap-ons with the Extra Extended Long Tank core, further upgraded with the RS-27A engine. More...
  • Delta 7925 American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x GEM-40 + 1 x EELT Thor/RS-27A + 1 x Delta K + 1 x Star 48B More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • JPL American agency;manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, USA. More...
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Discovery The Discovery program was begun by NASA in the early 1990s as the planetary counterpart to the Explorer program. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, 1996 Mars Missions Press Kit, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Mars Pathfinder Landing Press Kit, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Mars Pathfinder Fact Sheet, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC17B Delta launch complex. Part of a dual launch pad complex built for the Thor ballistic missile program in 1956. Upgraded over the decades for use with Thor, Delta, Delta II, and Delta III launch vehicles, it remained in use for over half a century. More...

Mars Pathfinder Chronology


1996 December 4 - . 06:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7925. LV Configuration: Delta 7925 D240.
  • Mars Pathfinder - . Payload: Discovery 2. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; JPL. Program: Discovery. Class: Mars. Type: Mars probe. Spacecraft: Mars Pathfinder. Decay Date: 1997-07-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 24667 . COSPAR: 1996-068A. Summary: En route Mars.

1997 July 4 - .
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